If you haven’t read Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, stop reading this right now, and go to the library or bookstore, or your nearest children’s literature center, get the book, and READ IT.
In the book, not a surprise, Alexander has a bad day, and wishes himself as far away as he can get from his family and life…to be in Australia. By the way, Australians, when reading this book, say Timbuktu.
Anyway, I had the very best of all weeks. I had my beloved Australians with me. Me, me, me!
In 1980 and ’81, Jen came to stay with me and my former spouse as a 17 year-old exchange student. Frankly, now, she can’t imagine her parents allowing it, but she is a parent herself, and she is looking through the other end of the tube. While she was with us as an exchange, she reveled in being an “only child,” and we spoiled her as only we could. The experience was not without its struggles, but Jen and I aren’t the type of people to let others go easily. We have remained close all these years, and email has made it all the more easily done to keep in touch. She has visited us many times in the 32 years since, and we visited her once. That she flies for QUANTAS and has perks is not to be overlooked.
So, Jen brought her two boys for a week-long visit. They are on Spring Break from their schools. They made me popular. My neighbors loved them. My siblings loved them. My nieces, nephews, and their school teachers loved them. My priest loved them. My DOG loved them. Of course, I LOVE them! And THEY loved everything about my new life.
So, instead of going to Australia, Australia came to me. And it did make things better. It was a wonderful, amazing, very good, really great visit. Thanks, Jen, and the boys, for coming half way around the earth to visit. Thanks, Mark, for sending them. I love you so much, and your visit did me so much good.